If you haven’t heard about SOPA yet, get ready, because this act is very controversial and could seriously change the Internet as we see it. The proposed Stop Online Piracy Act aims to eliminate websites that offer pirated material by having them removed from the Internet completely. The bill expands the ability of the US law enforcement and copyright holders to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods. If the bill passes, a content provider who believes that a site is infringing on its copyrighted material, can have that site taken down.
Many companies have expressed their opposition to the proposed act such as Facebook, eBay, Wikipedia, and Twitter. Recently, three of the world’s most prominent gaming companies (Sony, Nintendo and Electronic Arts) have withdrawn support for SOPA as well. The major proponents of the bill are mainly content producers such as Universal and Warner Bros music, Viacom, ESPN, ABC, Major League Baseball and the National Football League.
One company has already been hit hard by the SOPA storm – GoDaddy.com. GoDaddy originally supported the bill, resulting in a massive outrage and disaffiliation from the site. The company later withdrew its support from SOPA after loosing more than 70,000 domains. Unfortunately, the bill may hurt legitimate websites and eventually affect jobs and investments in start-ups.